with Organic Produce
Undergoing major changes
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
to get on our call list for future distributions.
Letter to our clients (July, 2018)
We apologize for our delay in communicating about the future of SH/OP.
As you all know, we have had a tough time this year getting enough volunteers to keep SH/OP going. Many of our volunteers are people with cancer, so there are times when they just can’t continue helping out. Until this year, we always had a new volunteer magically step in just as an old one was leaving—but that hasn’t been the case this year. Meanwhile, several of us have had our own major health issues, including our director Melinda.
Throughout the winter, Melinda, Mariah and Jorge managed to single-handedly keep things going, but now Melinda’s health has made it almost impossible for her to do the eight hours each Saturday that SH/OP requires. Mia BloomBecker, one of our founders, has stepped-in again to take over the duties that Melinda has traditionally handled.
As we continue to look for new volunteers, this summer we will be operating SH/OP as a less-frequent pop-up distribution—with our eyes on the prize of doing a Year Six backed by a full volunteer base.
Going forward, when we are able to have a distribution, we will activate our phone tree to notify you directly. What we need from you now is an update of the best way to reach you by phone and email.
At our last meeting, we considered a proposal to require that clients volunteer for at least one hour each month. We tabled that proposal, but we‘ll revisit it in the future. It could involve anything from pick-up, to phone tree work, to procuring our boxes from The Staff of Life.
Our first three years were so vital because Melinda and Mia were putting in so many hours each week doing the extra work, including updates to growers, gifts to growers, reaching out to clients for input on policy changes, public relations, and volunteer training. If we are to ever return to operating on a weekly basis, we will need to continue those activities by asking our clients to explore where they might fit in.
Do you have a neighbor or family member who can help with pick-up, or clean-up, or recycling? We know most of you cannot do the physical labor of lifting boxes, but do you have a vehicle that you could drive to a market once a month or even once every two months and let the healthy among us load the produce? We spent the winter doing two markets with just two small cars (a Toyota Echo and a tiny Toyota Yaris)—it sometimes meant making two trips while someone stayed with the food at the Cabrillo College market.
We would like to hear input from our clients about this proposal before we re-visit it again next month.
- We are now going to do SH/OP on a pop-up basis instead of weekly, and to do it efficiently, we need your current contact information.
- We would love to revisit doing a Year Six, and we’re looking for volunteers to make that happen.
- We will let you know the distribution location when we call. (There may be times when it will be at Melinda’s new apartment, and times when it will be at Mia’s house. We will not return to our original home at the church until we are no longer structuring ourselves as a pop-up.)
- Also to let you know, Yvonne and Dave who were mainstays during season four are in need of your good wishes. Dave is having health problems and this has been a very hard winter for both of them.
- To any of you able-bodied people in the community, if you would like to volunteer, please contact Mia or Melinda, or email us at email@example.com. (You get your own free produce and the opportunity to make a significant difference in people’s lives.)
Melinda, Linda, Mia, Jorge, and Matt
A FREE twice-monthly organic produce distribution for people with cancer, HIV/AIDS, and autoimmune disorders
SH/OP featured in Good Times!
A big thank-you to Cat Johnson and the Good Times newspaper for the beautifully supportive article!
Thank you, Connection Magazine!
Connection Magazine has generously provided advertising for SH/OP in their monthly magazine. Connection Magazine is a terrific free resource for healthy living & conscious lifestyles. Pick up a copy around town, or visit their website.
Statement of Purpose
We are a group of people in the Santa Cruz community who are beginning a free food project designed to supply organic produce to people with cancer and HIV. After much lively discussion, we decided to call this group SH/OP: Supporting Health with Organic Produce. We are sponsored by Chadeish Yameinu Jewish Renewal Community of Santa Cruz, and have the personal endorsement of Scott Roseman, founder of New Leaf Community Markets. While we have many goals, ideas and philosophies, our one unifying belief is that there is enough. Our commitment to you is to approach everything we do in the SH/OP organization from the platform of abundance, rather than scarcity.
We envision this project as being three-pronged; we honor the health of our bodies, our community, and our earth. Distribution of organic produce enhances the health and healing of our bodies. We have formed this group as a collective, using a consensus-based decision-making model which we believe offers a model of healing for us as a community. Finally, we honor the Earth by supporting organic farming and making sure that all of the materials that we use are as earth-friendly as possible.
We do realize that there are other food distribution projects that happen in Santa Cruz using the bounty from the market. Ours will be different. We have a very specific community we are trying to reach. Our goal is to be service-oriented as well as providing organic produce. We are also setting up a blog that will provide information about the nutritional aspects of different veggies and fruits as well as recipes. We will attempt to answer the age-old question, “just what can I do with six bunches of dandelion greens?”
We will provide “green” disposable food handler loose gloves, recognizing the absolute need to not spread or bacteria and virus to people whose immunity has been compromised through chemotherapy. We believe that every aspect of this project should support health.
Forgive our lack of brevity and let us just sum this up by stating that our foremost commitment is to make produce accessible to people with cancer and HIV and have the process be a safe one that values the dignity of all people.
How to Volunteer
Interested in volunteering? Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (831) 687-8545. (Tip: We'll be able to respond faster if you reach us by email!)
Volunteers are the crux of our program. Each year we’ve grown both our base of clients and growers, and it takes a lot of volunteers for us to keep that up!
There are many ways to volunteer with SH/OP. There is, of course, the need for reliable and consistent people for Saturdays. We usually start preparing for produce pickup around 11:00. This includes getting boxes, loading up tables for the church, and then getting to the markets. After market produce pickup, we head for our distribution site and start setup while we wait for the markets in Scotts Valley and on the Westside. We then distribute produce for about an hour, then get spare produce to the Grey Bears organization, and do a cleanup.
Apart from our distribution, we also have opportunities for volunteers to help with the organizational aspect of the program. We have open meetings, and we would love to have you come take part.
We especially need volunteers who:
Have some experience with grant writing, PR, fundraising, and procurement of supplies. As the season progresses, we also need volunteers who can help with our gleaning program. With a strong volunteer base, we can restart our delivery program.
Let us know what your primary interests are, and let’s see if we can find a place where your talents can be put to good use!
We do require a volunteer orientation that takes about an hour, and will be held once a month beginning Mid-March.
Again, please get in touch at email@example.com, or call (831) 687-8545
Jorge Arreguin, Matt Parcher, Linda BloomBecker, Mia BloomBecker, Melinda White, Adrian Gludt, and Megan Waterman
Thank you to our sponsors, supporters, and farmers
- New Natives Farm
- Bar-D Ranch
- K T Farm
- Webb’s Farm
- Pinnacle Farm
- Blue Heron Farms
- Borba Farms
- Vasquez Farms
- Stackhouse Brothers Orchards
- Rainbow Orchards
- Route 1 Farms
- Rancho Padre Farm
- Fogline Farm
- Kashiwase Farms
- Live Earth Farm
- Swanton Berry Farm
- Stone Meal Farm
- Casalegno Family Farm
- Hog Farms
- Chadeish Yameinu Jewish Renewal Community of Santa Cruz
- Trinity Presbyterian Church
- Scott Roseman
- Cara Lamb
- Trader Joe's, for the cheery assortment of bags for our delivery program
- Target & Palace Arts of Santa Cruz, for their generous donations of supplies
Get in touch: email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (831) 687-8545
(Tip: We'll be able to respond faster if you reach us by email!)